Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/2/2003
Publication Date: 6/20/2004
Citation: Kimbeng, C.A., White, W.H., Miller, J.D., Legendre, B.L. 2004. Sugarcane Resistance to the Sugarcane Borer: Performance Among Progeny Derived from Resistant and Susceptible parents. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 24:88. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Sugarcane, Saccharum spp. L., cultivar development programs routinely incorporate resistance to fungal and bacterial diseases that limit sugar yield whereas, there is comparatively little effort in breeding for insect resistance. Use of chemical control measures to alleviate insect pest problems can be limited by a number of factors including cost, real or perceived adverse environmental and health effects, and poor timing of application. Biological control and genetic control offer viable and environmentally friendly options available for season-long control of damaging borer infestations. In this study, parents and progeny derived from parents exhibiting a range of resistance levels were evaluated for sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F.), damage across two years, in 1998 and 1999. The objective was to investigate if sugarcane borer resistance can be selected for in a breeding program. Borer damage was evaluated as percent borer-damaged internodes on two random stalks in a stool. Borer damage was highly correlated between the two stalk samples (r = 0.70 in 1998 and r = 0.90 in 1999); however, borer damage was considerable higher in the 1998 trial (average, 20.4%) compared to the 1999 trial (average, 5.8%). Mean percent borer-damaged internodes was higher among progeny derived from susceptible x susceptible crosses (22.8% in 1998 and 9.5% in 1999) compared to those derived from resistant x resistant crosses (20.8% in 1998 and 5.1% in 1999). Crossing a susceptible parent to a resistant parent also reduce mean percent borer-damaged internodes among the progeny compared to the susceptible parent or the susceptible x susceptible progeny and produced progeny showing transgressive segregation in both directions. The results support earlier studies that suggest that it would be possible to breed sugarcane cultivars that are resistant to sugarcane borer. However, a concerted effort involving several rounds of screening and recurrent selection for resistance to borer damage is needed to develop germplasm that can withstand high levels of borer infestation. This work is currently underway.